Principal's Blog - 19 October 2017

19 Oct 2017

Dear members of the Marcellin College family,

Last Friday our College community came together in St Marcellin’s Hall to celebrate the 2017 Arts and Leadership Assembly. This event showcased the many Visual and Performing Arts opportunities available at Marcellin and the many benefits of participation in this exciting and vibrant program. The Assembly also celebrated the election of the 2018 student leaders as well as formally farewelling the Class of 2017.

I am very grateful to the Heads of Visual and Performing Arts, Sean Kolednick and Matthew Thomas for their work in organizing this assembly, ably guided and assisted as always by our Deputy Principal Adriano Di Prato. I am thankful too for the meticulous organization our Executive Assistant Shannon Anderson in tying the whole event together.

Below is copy of my presentation to the community at the assembly.

What makes a great piece of Art? This is a question which has been the cause of many arguments for centuries. Is it about flawless technique? Is it about devoting great amounts of time and energy to producing a work. Or is great Art about making an emotional connection with the viewer. Is it supposed to say something to us?  Is great Art provocative, does it need to be controversial? Does a good piece of Art need to have an element of truth to it? Does it need to ask us questions or teach us something we didn’t know? The answer to all these things is probably yes. I think Art is about me as the observer attempting to connect with a piece of Art on a personal or even emotional level. Therefore, what makes great Art is when everyone experiences the same piece differently.

I am not here today to attempt to define Art however if I was to try I probably would take a clue from the Artists themselves. I have known a few Artists personally and we also blessed to have a few very talented Artists in our midst here at Marcellin. I recently spoke to a good friend of mine who would classify himself an Artist and I asked him what qualifies a person to call him or herself an Artist. He said that you know you are an Artist when you have the urge to create. An Artist is someone who needs to create Art as much as a person needs air to breath.

He also told me something else which I think is even more important. He said that to be a great Artist you must be able to have the patience of going through the process of getting it wrong, many times - Until you start getting it right, then you continue pushing yourself on that same line and you don’t quit until you are satisfied with the end result.
Finally, my friend told me that you need to have the ability to be self-critical. He said that sometimes because of all the hard work and sacrifice Artists put into their work they can become blind to their shortcomings. A good Artist, he said, is someone who learns to detach themselves from their work and be critical of themselves before presenting a piece of Art for display.

So, Art is about patience, perseverance, the ability to be self-critical and pure hard work. Any of our Year 12 students who have engaged in one of the Visual Arts and Technology subjects this year could probably have told you that.
I think good leadership requires similar qualities to the creation of good Art. Remember my Artist friend said you know you are an Artist when you have an urge to create. I believe you know you are a good leader when you have the urge to serve. I am very confident that those boys we present to you today as Student Leaders for 2018 put themselves forward for such positions because they felt an inner desire to serve their classmates and the wider Marcellin College family. Just like the Artist who loses the creative urge the leader who loses the urge to serve can no longer call themselves a leader.

Perhaps this same logic could be applied to the Class of 2017. Calling oneself a student requires the urge to learn. Regardless as to whether all these fine young men continue formal education beyond school my hope would be that they continue to have the urge to learn and become students of life. That’s what your teachers and parents have been preparing you for over the last 13 years of schooling. Our only desire for you is that you continue to learn, to grow and to develop as men of faith, wisdom and knowledge. Life-long learners who will take their place in the world as what St Marcellin would describe as good Christians and good citizens

I am grateful as I am sure you are to the many teachers and staff who have walked with you and sometimes even carried you on your journey of learning and faith here at Marcellin and I am sure that over the coming days through word and action you will show your appreciation to them all. 

As you officially depart our College these are my personal hopes for you as the graduating Class of 2017…

That you be men of courage.
That you lead good and honest lives.
That you stand up for what is right.
That you walk tall and with confidence enabling those around you to walk tall as well.
That you be faithful to your God given talents and use them creatively in service to others.
That you know you are loved and that you give love to others especially those in greatest need.
That you be brave and tenacious so that when you fail or fall you will be able to get up dust yourself off and try again and again.

Finally, that you know that you are loved by God and therefore you are never alone in this world.

On behalf of the Marist Brothers and the entire Marcellin College family I would like to congratulate you on the many achievements you have made, the commitment you have displayed, the leadership you have shown, the care you have given and the faith you have lived in your time at Marcellin. I know that the entire community joins with me in prayer and solidarity as you embark on the most important period of your academic lives and remember gentlemen wherever you go in the world and in life you will always be Marcellin boys and you will always be welcome in this community. Good Luck gentlemen and remember always Virtute Ad Altissima!

Mark Murphy